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Troubling Thoughts About School Shootings

The world does not know how to solve the problem

Proverbs 4.19

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 25, In the year of our Lord, 2018


  1. The world cannot figure out what is wrong.
    1. Just listen to them as they struggle for answers.
    2. Proverbs 4 explains the world’s bewilderment,

      19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
      They do not know what makes them stumble
      (Pro 4.19).

      1. When I hear Hollywood condemn the NRA for the school violence,
      2. it reminds me of the time that “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” called Michael Jackson weird.
    3. Luke 6 is also a perfect picture of the world
      1. trying to explain school shootings, and
      2. of the world trying to figure out the solution:

        39 “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?” (Luke 6.39).
    4. Jeremiah 13 shows exactly what is happening,

      16 Give glory to the LORD your God
      Before He causes darkness,
      And before your feet stumble
      On the dark mountains,
      And while you are looking for light,
      He turns it into the shadow of death
      And makes it dense darkness.
      (Jer 13.16)
    5. Isaiah 59 gives interesting thoughts,

      9 Therefore justice is far from us,
      Nor does righteousness overtake us;
      We look for light, but there is darkness!
      For brightness, but we walk in blackness!
      10 We grope for the wall like the blind,
      And we grope as if we had no eyes;
      We stumble at noonday as at twilight;
      We are as dead men in desolate places.
      (Isa. 59.9–10)
  2. The increase in violence does not surprise Christians.
    1. We have been observing for years
      1. what we take out of our culture and
      2. what we put into it.
        1. The more you take the Bible out of society,
        2. the more violence you will have.
      3. Christians are modern day sons of Issachar,

        “who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1Ch 12.32; Esther 1.13; Pro 14.8).
    2. Take away the Bible, replace it with metal detectors.
    3. “It’s the Truth” (by Paul Harvey [I think])

      Whoa! What in the world is happening with our kids today? Let’s see…I think it started when Madeline Murray O’Hare  complained that she didn’t want any prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

      Then someone said you had better not read the Bible in school—the Bible that says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said, OK.

      Remember Dr. Benjamin Spock, who said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem? And we said, OK, we won’t spank them.

      Then someone said that teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And our administrators said, Whoa, no one in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don’t want any bad publicity, and we surely don’t want to be sued.

      Then someone said, Let’s let our daughters have abortions if they want, and we won’t even have to tell their parents. And we said, that’s a grand idea.

      Then someone else said, Let’s give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the “fun” they desire, and we won’t have to tell their parents. And we said, That’s another great idea. [The Klamath County Health department once refused to give these devices to fourth grade boys, because they were making water balloons out of them. No, they were supposed to use them for what they were designed to do!]

      And then some of our top officials said that it doesn’t matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And we said, As long as I have a job and the economy is good, it doesn’t matter to me what anyone does in private.

      So now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill.

      Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with “we reap what we sow.”


  1. People Will Think There Is Nothing But Bad in the Schools
    1. Millions of teenagers, millions of times a day do good things.
    2. For example, during the same week as the Columbine shootings,
      1. hundreds of students at Klamath Union High School
      2. were honored in a special ceremony for outstanding grades.
        1. This, of course, did not make the news.
        2. If it had, I doubt that it would have changed people’s opinions.
    3. Hundreds of students can do wonderful things in a school, but
      1. let one student in that school commit a crime, and
      2. we condemn the whole school system or that particular school.
    4. That one student will make adults ask what we did wrong, but
      1. when the hundreds do right,
      2. the same adults do not ask what we did right.
  2. People Will Propose More Security Measures
    1. This will not solve the problem, because
      1. it is not the root of the problem.
      2. If removing weapons was the solution,
        1. God’s word would have said so.
        2. This is where you see the truth of Proverbs 4.19.
    2. I am not trying to make a statement for or against guns.
      1. What I am saying is this:
        1. If guns, knives, bombs, swords, spears and
        2. other instruments of death were the problem,
          1. hence their removal the solution,
          2. God would have commanded their removal in the word.
      2. If it could be proven that removing guns would prevent all murders,
        1. then I would be for it.
        2. If it could be demonstrated that prior to the invention of guns,
          1. there were no murders,
          2. I would be the first to declare their removal.
  3. People Will Propose More Self-Esteem and Psychology
    1. Research shows no connection between low self-esteem and violence.
      1. The research actually reveals the reverse.
      2. Regardless of the research,
        1. can we not see that if low self-esteem was the problem,
        2. the Bible would have revealed it.
    2. People think that man’s psychology will reveal potential violent kids.
      1. Jeremiah 17 reveals why we cannot do this,

        9 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
        And desperately wicked;
        Who can know it?
        10 I, the LORD, search the heart,
        I test the mind,
        Even to give every man according to his ways,
        According to the fruit of his doings.”
        (Jer 17.9–10)
      2. With this profiling in place, who would have known:
        1. That Judas would betray Christ?
        2. That Peter would deny Christ?
        3. That all the apostles would forsake Christ?
        4. That David would commit adultery and order a murder?
        5. That Solomon would forsake the Lord?
    3. So far man’s ideas are not solving the world’s problems, but
      1. with man’s thinking and without the Bible,
      2. the world is only getting worse.
  4. People Will Propose More Medication
    1. Rather than teaching people, especially young people
    2. to learn to control their behavior.
      1. However, the world cannot do this properly, because
      2. it has no moral absolute on which to stand.
  5. People Will Still Fail to See the Place of Punishment
    1. Ecclesiastes 8 shows something that all parents recognize, but
    2. the world fails to recognize in other areas,

      11 Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil (Ecc 8.11).
  6. People Cannot See that We Are Marinating Our Youth in Violence
    1. You have marinated meat before.
      1. You put the raw meat in a container and
        1. let it soak in a marinade,
        2. hoping to add flavor to the meat.
      2. When you cook and eat the meat you fully expect to taste the marinade.
    2. We are marinating our young people in violent sauces.
      1. Music
      2. Movies
      3. Evolution
      4. Et al.
  7. People Will Not See the Effect that Evolution Has on Our Children
    1. Evolution says advancement is made when the weak are eliminated.
    2. Should we be surprised then when:
      1. abortion is fully accepted by the general population;
      2. infanticide has been going on for years; and now
      3. our beloved state has endorsed physician-assisted suicide?
    3. Evolution does not come out and teach students to be violent,
      1. it implies that is how we arrived at our present advanced state, and
      2. that it is how we shall progress.
  8. People Will Propose Moral Training Aside from the Bible
    1. Second Chronicles 15 shows why Israel was in turmoil,

      3 “For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; 4 but when in their trouble they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. 5 And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands” (2Ch 15.3–5).
  9. People Fail to See that It Is a Fad, Though a Deadly One
    1. Do you remember the Freeway Shootings?
    2. How about the Post Office Shootings?
    3. How about the Restaurant Shootings?
      1. McDonald’s in San Diego.
      2. Luby’s in Texas
    4. They all come and go.
  10. People Still Will Not See the Value of an Absolute Moral Standard
    1. D.A.R.E. attempted to teach school children
    2. to make up their own minds about what is right and wrong.
      1. Virtually every study now shows that this approach fails, and
      2. that it even encourages drug use.
        1. Why?
        2. Students are taught to follow their own standards.
    3. People erred by saying the Constitution does not allow absolutes.
    4. It is not politically correct to teach
      1. that one way is right and
      2. another way is wrong.
        1. We have to get over that way of thinking.
  11. People Cannot See that Love for Others Is Lacking
    1. The Bible teaches that love is the highest commandment, but
      1. violent people do not know this because
      2. the Bible has been kept from them.
    2. People think more of themselves than they do of others.
    3. Second Timothy 3 pictures perfectly what we see,

      1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2Ti 3.1–4).
  12. People Fail to See Eternity
    1. When anyone murders others, and then
      1. takes his own life,
      2. he believes erroneously that he has ended his existence.
    2. They believe they are escaping punishment and humiliation, but
      1. it is only beginning,
      2. which they obviously do not believe.
  13. People Will Still Fail to Name Sin as Such


  1. Why Did Cain Kill Abel?
    1. Had Cain been watching a violent video game?
      1. Had he been watching violent television shows?
      2. Was it the easy availability of guns?
      3. Do any of these things encourage violence?
        1. They may feed an appetite, but
          1. they do not make someone want to kill.
          2. Someone kills because he wants to kill,
        2. even as listening to the Bible does not make us do right, but
          1. encourages us to do right, because
          2. we have decided that we want to do right.
    2. Could Abel’s murder been prevented by:
      1. Behavioral medication?
      2. Counseling early in life?
      3. All the other solutions the world is offering?
    3. Cain killed because it was in his heart, he wanted to do it,
    4. Mark 7 shows the beginning of school shootings,

      21 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7.21–23).
  2. Let us pray for our nation.